For more than a decade, as E! News’ resident estate agent, I had my hands and my mind full representing rich and famous folks whose minds and properties were always competing.
After filming auctions, sitting through tense real estate closings and dishing up real estate details to desperate homeowners, I could assure you that I was fairly cautious with my fortune telling powers. But if anyone should have been able to predict who would buy a house that popped up at the market’s fastest time, it was me.
For seven years, my goal was to see every house that was for sale on the market in Los Angeles. I was broke then, and wanted to make a quick buck, but when the housing market tanked and began to plummet, my best strategy turned out to be the least effective.
My secret weapon, a raccoon on my desk, was temporarily protecting me from the outrageous prices buyers paid for homes that had already sold. But with each new round of craziness, the raccoon protected me only so much longer.
Real estate pieces to ‘Porridge’
A few months after I made this bold prediction, I was able to convince producers to film an auction. We showed everything for six hours. It was crazy and epic. The new tactic worked.
My next result was a luxury home, a penthouse at the Elgin hotel that had been listed for a year. It appeared on the market last January and sold in two days.
I quickly moved onto my next attempt at fantasy. At the 2015 Oscars, I predicted that Jennifer Lawrence would win an Oscar for “Joy,” a commercial starring Jennifer and which was nominated for Best Picture. I predicted too much of a coincidence, unfortunately. Jennifer won.
Nigel West’s Real Estate Secret Weapon Photos by Jeffrey Mayer, Esq.
I still get anxious when I have to witness properties go under the hammer, some of which could almost be magnets for a buyer’s wallet. Recently, I spotted a house that had been put on the market at an unprecedented price.
The house still stood, but in its place, a storeroom sat empty, and someone new was on the market. It was perfect for someone to drop everything and make a bid. But…no one did.
I’ve also seen quite a few times what could have been with certain properties that took longer to sell than anticipated. And I have seen a house that was actually bought for the first price mentioned, and a house that turned into another house, with a former listing prices of $70 million and $35 million. Real estate tends to always have what I call “payback” patterns.
My hunch to never over-predict is still strong. Still, it’s nice to have a new wrinkle every now and then.
There’s no magic bullet. Real estate does have its own favorite strategies to help you put yourself in the right position for what might be coming. But it’s a mix of luck and clever intuition.
And who knows, I might never need to return to my raccoon for help in predicting the future.
Auctions. They may have come and gone, but on a good day, they really stand out. Now, I’m looking forward to the next thing I can learn about real estate. A home.